AMD R9 290X Review
For such a high-end, range topping card the cooler is distinctly unimpressive. Normally we don't mind because we know that no-one buys the reference models. However, the rumour is that AMD aren't allowing companies to apply their own cooler at the moment (DirectCU II, Twin Frozr III etc). This means that you're stuck with the AMD offering. It's never been either the quietest nor the best looking cooler and things haven't changed with the 290X.
No, your eyes aren't deceiving you. There are no Crossfire fingers on the 290X. All the Crossfire work is done via the PCI Express slots now, so there is no need for a bridge. We have yet to receive confirmation that this arrangement will work on older chipsets such as the X58 or earlier, but if we do we'll let you know either on our forums or as an edit in our conclusion.
The business end of the 290X is the same as the other Radeon cards, with an HDMI, a DisplayPort and two DVIs.
Here is the switch that changes the card from Silent Mode to Uber Mode. Silent mode has its drawbacks, as we will see on the next page.
All in all we're rather disappointed with the looks of the R9 290X. With the GTX Titan/780/770 cooler it was clearly something different and anyone casually glancing at your rig would know you had something special in it. With the R9 290X it could anything from a HD5870 to what it is. A bit of flair, especially at this price, wouldn't go amiss.